We often build tools that help forecast or teach the concepts behind our statistical methods. Turning our internal tools into public property takes some time and tuning. The spreadsheet performs a Monte Carlo simulation to generate a delivery date forecast for a single feature. There are no macros, everything in this spreadsheet is based on formulas.

Features –

  • Given a start date, story count range estimate and throughput/velocity it gives date and probability forecasts
  • Throughput can be story count based or velocity based
  • If historical throughput/velocity data is available, it can be used instead of a simple range estimate
  • If risks are known, they can be used to forecast their impact – totally optional
  • Charts so you can see the analysis visually – just for teaching
  • NO MACROS – No security issues to have to worry about. We only do what Excel does in formulas and don’t share or send any data externally.

Get it here –

Throughput Forecaster.xlsx

(See all of our free tools here: http://bit.ly/SimResources)

How it works –

Given the feature count estimate range, 500 hypothetical completions of this feature are simulated. These simulated trials are used to compute how likely a given delivery date is against others. This analysis correctly computes how the uncertainty in feature size performs against the uncertainty of delivery rate (historically or estimated).

We will be posting hands-on labs about its application in the future. For now, we just ant to make our internal tools available for use by the industry so that we can improve on the simplistic and flawed current methods of forecasting that plague the software development industry.